I care for my husband who had a stroke 8 years ago and currently he is waiting for a
hip replacement. He is going to be treated as very urgent and has a pre op appointment
next week. His life is very restricted and he is in huge amounts of pain. Only so many
pain killers you can take because of side affects. I find it very hard and distressing to
see him struggling with so much pain. I had a heart attack lady year but have recovered
I do get out daily to walk our dog and also do some swimming. Also have some good
friends I can talk to.
Any advice re coping with the mental trauma of seeing a loved one in pain etc. would be
great, thank you.
Rosemary, if the pre op is going to be next week, it shouldn’t be long before his operation.
Is he fighting the pain, or managing it? Trying to do too much is just going to make the pain worse. Both my knees were damaged in a car accident, and I couldn’t take many pain killers as I only have one kidney now. It’s much better to do a bit, and rest, then do a bit more, and rest, so that pain never gets unbearable.
Not wishing to upset our male members here, but the men in my life have always been “Stubborn Old Fools” when it comes to medication and taking it easy, often accompanied by the “Ignore It and It Will Go Away” school of thought.
Does he have a really comfortable chair, ideally a recliner?
Does a hot water bottle help?
Meanwhile, think about what he’s going to need in hospital. I loved the small cartons of fruit juice that could be kept in my locker, so I was never thirsty.
Hi Rose O T
I’ve had a hip replacement. They promise that the pain from your hip will go away immediately but he must expect pain from the operation site. It’s not immediate pain free magic.
They don’t tell you about the hard 3 months afterwards, although I believe it is very different for different people.
Immediately after the op the leg which has been operated on feels like a log of wood attached to you which you have to ‘drag around’. The exercises recommended pre op are very important because if those muscles are ready then getting the leg back into working order happens much more quickly.
You must be able to negotiate stairs before you are allowed home. The hardest part for me was the ‘lie on your back for 3 months’ rule because I cannot do that without pain. (Bad back). First of all I had a rolled up towel under my knees, later a soft pillow. You are supposed to lie straight to allow the replacement joint to settle into the correct position.
However, eventually it’s all fine and the pain does go away –a lot- but my case not completely.
Walking every day is recommended. If your husbands op is likely to be fairly soon, recognise that he will feel very wary of icy pavements and slippery paths. It’s quite scary when you are not sure your legs are solidly underneath you. It feels very strange at first but gets better.
To help me, we got a low threshold walk in shower, a shower chair, grab handles in the shower, a high toilet, (you can get high seats) and put a high seated chair into our lounge temporarily as the low settee seats were no good. Oh and one of those ‘grab sticks’ for picking things up. They will give him sock and shoe aids.
When appropriate see if you can get him a prescription for a chiropodist. He won’t be able to cut his toe nails!!
Keeping your body and legs at never any more than 90* ‘bend’ is recommended. Don’t stoop. Don’t kneel, don’t bend to the floor, take the stairs as recommended.
Sorry, hope that’s not ‘too much info’.
The pain will go away post op but perhaps not immediately. Hang on in there and in the meantime experiment with pillows, under his knees, between his legs. anywhere where a bit of comfort is the result.
I was in a lot of pain prior to having mine done - heat pads definitely helped me as did not sitting for too long. I found sleeping with a pillow between my legs helped at night. Is your husband allowed to take anti-inflammatories? If so, they help with the pain. Distraction is important too, being absorbed in something taking his mind off the pain.
How you cope though was the question you asked. Take breaks and have me time for you, this will build your own residence. Acknowledge his pain, but try not to get bogged down by it. Plan little treats for you both. Does he have friends and family who visit - they will be a welcome distraction and take some of the pressure off you.
Thank you. Yes I have had a Carers assessment and did get a six day holiday in October which
was a life saver. I agree about hot water bottles or heat pads but not sure if my husband would
try them. I’ll suggest it.
Thanks for your reply. I always use a pillow myself which helps my hips. Yes my husband takes
Ibuprofen and co-codamol for the worst pain but he can’t tolerate too many because of side
We rarely have visitors and our son works a long way from us. We can’t even go out for a meal
because my husbands mobility is so poor. He uses two frames in the house to get about with
difficulty. However we did invite a friend over for lunch on Sunday so that was nice.
As for sitting my husband spends all day in his riser recliner so I guess his muscles are getting
weak. He sleeps a lot during the day as he gets such disturbed nights.
This week I am meeting two friends on separate days for a catch up so looking forward to that.
It’s good to know you have had successful hip ops.
Well thanks for taking the time and trouble to write so much.in fact we have a wonderful stair lift which was installed in January this year by the Council. He has a riser recliner chair and gets about very slowly and painfully with walking frames. He finds his helping hands grabbers invaluable particularly when dressing. We have raised toilet seats and a perching stool in the bathroom. An OT appointment was recently arranged when we were given all the gen as to what to do post op. We have had a chiropodist co to our home for some years now. He has had experience as he had the other hip done 12 years ago and recovered very quickly. He is 85 now so we hope he will cope as well this time. I get out twice a day to walk our new pal - a retired racing greyhound - and am meting two friends for a natter over coffee this week and really looking forward to it.
Well thanks for reply.There no chance of my husband doing too much. He can hardly do anything and gets about the house painfully with walking frames. We also have a stair lift.
Yes he has a riser recliner chair. Will see if he will use a heat pad. He has in the past for back pain. He can’t take too many pain killers because of side affects.